Theo Middelkamp

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Theo Middelkamp
Theo Middelkamp.jpg
Personal information
Full name Theofiel Middelkamp
Nickname de Fiel
Born (1914-02-23)February 23, 1914
Nieuw-Namen, the Netherlands
Died May 2, 2005(2005-05-02) (aged 91)
Kieldrecht, Belgium
Team information
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Major wins
1947 World Champion road race
Infobox last updated on
June 20, 2008

Theofiel ("Theo") Middelkamp (Nieuw-Namen, 23 February 1914–Kieldrecht, 2 May 2005) was a Dutch cyclist. In 1947, Middelkamp became world champion. In 1936, he was the first Dutch cyclist ever to win a stage in the Tour de France.

Biography[edit]

Middelkamp was born as the second son in a family of nine children. At an early age, he wanted to be a footballer, but he soon realised that there was much more money to be earned in cycling, as football was not yet a professional sport in the Netherlands.

Middelkamp was the first Dutchman to win a stage in the Tour de France. When he came to the Tour, he had never even seen mountains, coming from the very flat parts of the Netherlands. However, in his first Tour, on July 14, 1936, he won the difficult mountain stage from Aix-les-Bains to Grenoble, which went over the Col du Galibier. That year, he finished 23rd overall. In 1937 he had to quit the Tour because of a fall, in which he broke a finger.

In 1938 he won the seventh stage (Bayonne-Pau). In that tour, he won 8,000 francs, much less than he could have earned in races in Flanders, and so he decided not to participate in any later Tours. As Middelkamp famously said, "I cannot live on fame and honour".[1]

During the Second World War, Middelkamp earned money by smuggling, but he was caught and spent several months in prison. After the war, he went back to full-time cycling.

In 1947, Middelkamp became the first Dutch world champion on the road, in Reims, after having been close to that title in the previous year.

Middelkamp ended his career in 1951, when he bought a pub in Kieldrecht. For a long time, he would not talk to journalists about his cycling years, until he spoke about his famous 1936 stage win in a television program in 2003. Middelkamp died in 2005.

Major results[edit]

1934
 Netherlands national road race championship amateurs
Roosendaal
1936
GP Stad Vilvoorde
Tour de France:
Winner stage 7
23rd place overall classification
World Championship (road race): 3rd place
1938
Netherlands Dutch National Road Race Championship
Tour de France:
Winner stage 7
1943
Netherlands Dutch National Road Race Championship
1945
Netherlands Dutch National Road Race Championship
1947
Arc en ciel.svg World Championship road race
1950
World Championship (road race): 2nd place

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haan, Rob de. Liever poen dan roem, 16 June 2010, nu.nl

External links[edit]